FIlm Review: Uninspiring 'Zoolander' proves to be cinematic mismatch

en Stiller’s latest offering, “”Zoolander,”” follows the plight of male supermodels who are brainwashed to kill the prime minister of Malaysia. The movie is ultra-brief, poorly played out with visual gags, easily forgettable and contains largely unnecessary cameos.

Stiller’s screen presence is awkward, fish-lipped and contrasts with the rest of the cast’s considerably more relaxed attitude. Matilda, the love interest and orgy participant played by Christine Taylor, and several other characters are well-delivered but uninspired. The fashion-oriented plot boasts a very glossy and visually appealing look, but substance of any kind is lacking.

Comedically, “”Zoolander”” is a disappointment but is a move away from the painful can’t-get-any-worse approach of “”Meet The Parents.””

Problems stem from the movie’s reliance on dry Stupidity — yes, with a capital S — instead of punch lines. The amusing characters, including Will Ferrell as Jacobim Mugatu, and a few other minor roles, get little attention. What they do receive is homoeroticism or easy, kitschy gags. As Hansel, Owen Wilson rides a scooter and displays pseudo-Hindu spirituality. Zoolander’s roommates, who are also fellow male supermodels, die after they spew each other with gasoline in a car wash-style hose down.

Many famous faces show up in this movie — David Bowie and Winona Ryder make appearances — but do little to improve the film. Then again, most of the scenes do very little, so it’s no big loss. The overall effect of “”Zoolander”” is a few chuckles and a lot of time waiting for the laughter to begin.

“”Zoolander”” gets worse as the product placements get increasingly blatant. At times, “”Zoolander”” amounts to little more than a string of logo-focused scenes. Certain brightly colored, fruit-named computers got a big segment of time, as did several other less-than-stealthy product placements at the VH1 Fashion Awards, which apparently are now the most important fashion event in the world.

This movie is missable at best, deserving little if any praise. At its worst, you will be hiding yawns. The upside is that “”Zoolander”” is not actually bad, it’s just not good. As with most movies, you already know the best scenes from the trailers. Save the $8 and two hours of your life by opting not to support Stiller’s ego — he directed and co-wrote “”Zoolander”” and was one of its eight producers. To sum up, as Jay Sherman said on the TV show “”The Critic””: “”F’eh.””

Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Christine Taylor

in theaters Sept. 28

Rated PG-13

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal